What was once part of the St. James Presbyterian Church sanctuary at 19414 Ventura Blvd. is slated to become a Carl's Jr. fast-food restaurant, pending the city's approval of a conditional use permit.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake destroyed the church sanctuary, sending the ceiling and light fixtures crashing down on the pews of the 1,000-seat church.
A year later, church members voted to demolish the sanctuary and sell part of the property. The 120-by-260-foot parcel is currently in escrow. Carl Karcher Enterprises, owner of Carl's Jr. restaurants, is looking to purchase the land for $1.06 million.
Because St. James Presbyterian Church didn't have earthquake insurance, the congregation decided to sell part of its land to raise enough money to build a new church, said the pastor, the Rev. Ken Tracy. The new church will seat 300 and cost about $1.3 million. It will front Ventura Boulevard just west of the proposed Carl's Jr. restaurant.